Of course Facebook and Google want to solve social problems. Theyre hungry for our data | Nathalie Olah

Giving big tech companies power over the NHS or the climate crisis wont build a fairer world. But public ownership would, says author Nathalie Olah We hear it said all the time, most recently in a national campaign for BT: Technology will save us. The slogan was plastered on billboards across the country as part of BTs new advertising campaign, linked to a UK-wide digital skills movement developed partly with Google. The sentiment is so ubiquitous that it even food shortages to climate breakdown, companies such as Google and Facebook two of the leading western companies in the artificial intelligence arms race claim theres almost nothing that cannot be tackled through tech. But there are reasons to be sceptical. These …

Google acquires CloudSimple

Just a few months back, Google announced a partnership with a company called CloudSimple to help more enterprise teams move their on-site operations to the cloud. Now Google is outright acquiring them. So what is CloudSimple? It lets businesses run VMWare vSphere workloads on the cloud, allowing them to take their existing on-premises tools and databases and plug them into Google Cloud with minimal re-tooling. As TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardinois wrote when the initial partnership was announced: While Google would surely love for all enterprises to move to containers and utilize its Anthos hybrid cloud service, most large companies currently use VMware. They may want to move those workloads to a public cloud, but they aren’t ready to give up a …

Googles Top Lawyer Wont Say Sorry to Ex-Employee Who Said He Ruined Her Life

Alphabets Chief Legal Officer David Drummond offered a non-apology Thursday to a woman who at various points was his employee, his extramarital partner, and the mother of his child. She accused him of ruining her life. Jennifer Blakely, a Silicon Valley angel investor and former senior contracts manager for Google, described the tumultuous course of their relationship in a first reported by BuzzFeed News, in which he called himself far from perfect and that he and Blakely had a difficult breakup that he regretted. He did not apologize to her and denied her claim that he dated another colleague at Google. Drummonds power at the company is difficult to overstate. He has been with Google since 2002 and was present …

How parking app SpotHero is preparing for an era of driverless cars

On-demand parking app SpotHero wants to be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles are ubiquitous. Its strategy: target the human-driven car-sharing fleets today. The Chicago-based company, which has operations in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, has launched a new service dubbed SpotHero for Fleets that targets shared mobility and on-demand services. The service aims to be a one-stop shop for car-sharing and commercial fleets to handle all that goes into ensuring there is access and the right number of designated parking areas on any given day within SpotHero’s large network of 6,500 garages across 300 cities. That means everything from managing the relationships between garage owners and the fleet companies to proper signage so car-sharing customers …

Google to acquire analytics startup Looker for $2.6 billion

Google made a big splash this morning when it announced it’s going to acquire Looker, a hot analytics startup that’s raised more than $280 million. It’s paying $2.6 billion for the privilege and adding the company to Google Cloud. Thomas Kurian, the man who was handed the reins to Google Cloud at the end of last year, sees the two companies bringing together a complete data analytics solution for customers. “The combination provides an end-to-end analytics platform to connect, collect, analyze and visualize data across Google Cloud, Azure, AWS, on-premises databases and ISV applications,” Kurian explained at a media event this morning. Google Cloud has been mired in third place in the cloud infrastructure market, and grabbing Looker gives it …